Yesterday’s council meeting allowed an extra motion – one proposed by the Green Party calling for an Article 4 direction to prevent pubs in York being turned into supermarkets without going through the planning process. The motion got 100% support, turning the whole electronic voting display green!!
(iv) From Cllr D’Agorne
“Council notes with concern the growing number of local pubs that are closing and being threatened with conversion to supermarkets, in some cases without the opportunity for the local community to have a say in the process.
Council further notes the support of local MP’s High Bayley and Julian Sturdy and supports the intent of Early Day Motion 208,
“That this House believes that permitted development rights are leaving pubs in England vulnerable to demolition or conversion to a range of retail uses without planning permission; further believes, in light of evidence from the Campaign for Real Ale, that two pubs a week are converted to supermarkets, and that these planning loopholes are contributing to the loss of valued community amenities; is concerned that local people are being denied a say in the future of their neighbourhoods; and so urges the Government to bring forward amendments to the General Permitted Development Order 1995 so that any demolition or change of use involving the loss of a pub would require planning permission.”
In the short term, in order to provide local accountability, Council calls on Cabinet to follow the example of other councils by swiftly introducing an Article 4 exemption to GPDO 1995 so as to require application for planning permission for such change of use within the boundary of the City of York, starting with the Punch Bowl in the Groves as an urgent priority.
In addition Council supports the provision of advice to local groups on how to register their local pub as a ‘community asset’, identifying key social assets in local communities that need to be protected.”
But in the end this is just a small bit that politics can do to keep a pub in the local community. Local communities are much better in securing their pub’s future. A good example is The Winning Post on Bishopthorpe Road. Bishy Road Traders Association successfully got it listed as an asset of community value by City of York Council to protect it from any attempts to turn it into a mini supermarket or shop. After all even if a lot of pubs have a social function, ultimately they are not a charity and must be run on a profit-making basis. Therefore if you like your local pub and want to secure it’s future, you should go there for a drink or a meal, because if you do not use it you will lose it.